House of the Dragon season 2, episode 3 recap: A meeting of queens

We split our time across three locations in House of the Dragon season 2, episode 3, ending with an important meeting of queens.
Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy) and Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno) in House of the Dragon season 2.
Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy) and Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno) in House of the Dragon season 2. /

House of the Dragon warned us that we would have storylines split across different locations. That is certainly the case in season 2, episode 3.

Caution: This post contains spoilers from House of the Dragon season 2, episode 3.

We pick up this episode in the Riverlands. The Blackwoods and the Brackens get into a fight. Both of these houses have a long feud, and nobody knows how it even started at this point. Yet, they have sided with different monarchs, and now they have more to fight for. It ends with a bloody battle that is talked about during the rest of the episode.

The Riverlands is the key to win the war. At least, that’s what both Daemon and Criston believe. Daemon believes it so much that he rides to Harrenhal, which is a ruined mess but still has a house residing there.

Daemon has visions of someone from his past in House of the Dragon

Daemon walks through Harrenhal with his sword drawn. He is ready for an attack, but it seems that what is left of the house is dining in the great hall—the only place that seems to have a non-leaking roof!

Daemon stays for dinner, which is when he and Simon Strong get a chance to talk. Daemon wants Harrenhal to call on the people of the Riverlands, in order to get them to side with Rhaenyra. However, he is plagued with a vision that night. Someone tries to get into his room, which he’s blocked with swords. When he rushes out, nobody is there. He walks to a room where there’s the sound of a woman singing. Young Rhaenyra (played by Milly Alcock) is there sewing the head of Prince Jaehaerys back on. She comments on how she has to fix the problems he causes, and then Daemon is outside next to a tree.

There is a black-haired woman out there, who tells Daemon that he will die here. And that’s it. We have no idea who this woman is at this point in the story, but book fans will recognize her as Alys Rivers.

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Rhaenyra ensures her stepdaughter and sons are safe

Knowing that war might be coming to Dragonstone, Rhaenyra wants to get the children and younger dragons out. Jeyne Arryn has agreed to team up with Rhaenyra in exchange for a dragon. However, Rhaenyra can’t allow one of the fighting dragons to go. She sends up two of the smaller dragons and four dragon eggs to the Vale with her sons. Rhaena, Daemon’s daughter with Laena, is sent to look after that. Rhaena isn’t happy with this at first, but then she realizes that she is going to look out for the next generation of dragons. Suddenly, this mission is more than being a nanny to three children.

Speaking of dragons, though, Seasmoke is circling the waters. He is growing restless. While Rhaenyra says later that the dragons are getting restless and are ready for war, Mysaria points out that Seasmoke could be lonely. This has to be a hint that the dragons need to find new dragonriders.

Mysaria is staying in Dragonstone for now after she warned people of the Arryk/Erryk situation. She wants a place in Rhaenyra’s court and even offers Rhaenyra a way to get into King’s Landing. It looks like Mysaria will stick around for a while.

Criston Cole goes out ready for war

Meanwhile, Aegon wants war but listens when Larys Strong fills him in on supposed gossip around the city. He agrees to allow a group to ride out to the Riverlands, led by Criston Cole. Ser Gwayne Hightower, who is clearly not happy about Otto no longer being there, goes out with them. It's ultimately Gwayne who puts some of the men at risk.

Baela is above Criston's group on her dragon, looking out for any signs that the greens are moving. She swoops down as the men all race for the trees. In the end, Baela can’t do anything, but she does get a good look at who is traveling. She knows that it is Criston Cole, and she relays that message to Rhaenyra.

Rhaenyra’s council wants her to fight with dragons, but she and Rhaenys want to try to avoid that. Deep down, they probably know it is inevitable, though. There’s a moving conversation between Corlys and Rhaenys after Rhaenyra makes it clear she wants Rhaena to go to the Vale. Rhaenys wants Corlys to name an heir. It’s either Rhaena or Joffrey. Joffrey is just six, and Rhaena knows nothing about ships. He can’t name either of them, and he just has to hope that he won’t die. This is certainly foreshadowing things for the next episodes.

While all this is taking place, King Aegon decides to take some of the Kingsguard members to a brothel, as one of the squires is still a virgin. He knows just the woman to deflower the boy, but he needs to find her. He pulls back the curtains until he finds the woman. It turns out that Aemond is there with her, which leads to Aegon making fun of his brother for choosing the same woman he lost his virginity to. Aemond has someone he's able to be vulnerable to, and now all of that is going to disappear thanks to the taunts of his brother.

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Rhaenyra and Alicent get a chance to talk in House of the Dragon

The ending of the episode brings us the biggest moment yet. Rhaenyra and Alicent want to avoid a war, but there’s no way either of them can send a message to each other to talk. So, Mysaria shares how Rhaenyra can get into King’s Landing and where to go to talk to Alicent alone. It means dressing as one of the septas and going to the church.

While there, Rhaenyra learns why Alicent is so certain that Aegon is supposed to sit on the Iron Throne. She is sure that Viserys changed his mind, and eventually tells Rhaenyra that Viserys told her Aegon is the Prince That Was Promised.

That’s a clear sign to Rhaenyra that Alicent got it all wrong. The Prince That Was Promised is a story and it’s about Aegon the Conqueror. You can see it in Alicent’s face that she realizes that she may have gotten Viserys’s words wrong, but now it’s too late. There is nothing that she can do to stop this war from happening.

For Rhaenyra, she gets the confirmation she needs. Her father never changed his mind. She is the heir he wanted to succeed the throne. It’s just too late to prevent the Dance of the Dragons.

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